EA should know a thing or two about the importance of a good quality assurance team. The company received tremendous backlash when it released Battlefield 2042 with a ton of bugs.
However, sources report that EA has unexpectedly laid off the entire quality assurance team from its office in Baton Rouge, Louisiana office. Most of those affected are contractors working on testing related functions for Respawn’s battle royale game Apex Legends.
Three sources shared with Kotaku that 200 contractors were given the sad news during an unscheduled but mandatory Zoom meeting at 8 am today. The affected employees will receive 60 days of severance pay, which is less than the length of many of the contracts.
EA released an official statement regarding the mass layoff.
"Testing games is an integral part of delivering the best experiences for our players," a spokesperson for EA said. "As part of our ongoing global strategy, we are expanding the distribution of our Apex Legends testing team and ending testing execution that’s been concentrated in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, impacting services provided by our third-party provider."
The statement adds, "Our global team, inclusive of remote playtesters across the U.S., enables us to increase the hours per week we’re able to test and optimize the game and reflects a commitment to understand and better serve our growing community around the world."
Employees were informed that they could collect their personal belongings from the office, but only under watch by security personnel.
EA has had some challenges with its mobile titles in recent months. The company recently announced that it will be shutting down Apex Legends Mobile in May. EA is also canceling the unreleased Battlefield mobile game and its development studio Industrial Toys.
There are also reports that the company canceled an unannounced Titanfall game. The canceled title was planned as a single-player campaign for Apex Legends.
EA and Respawn recently released Season 16 of Apex Legends. The new season, titled Revelry, was launched on February 14. It is the first time since the game was released four years ago that a new season wasn’t accompanied by a new character called "Legends". Respawn opted to introduce remastered Legend classes to the game instead.
The new season added Team Deathmatch as a limited-time event. Revelry also added a brand-new weapon called Nemesis. The Arena game mode has also been discontinued for Apex Legends.